Tears Shed As Treaty Bills Completed

by Desk Editor on Thursday, July 26, 2012 — 6:12 PM

Maori Party Leader Tariana Turia was reduced to tears today as she led off the third reading debate of the Ngai Tāmanuhiri Claims Settlement Bill.

An excerpt from the bill describing what happened to Ngai Tāmanuhiri
• The Crown acknowledges that—
o (a)prior to 1865 Ngai Tāmanuhiri had full control of their lands and resources and were participating successfully in the New Zealand economy; and
o (b)when war broke out in the 1860s in other regions of New Zealand, Ngai Tāmanuhiri remained neutral; and
o (c)Ngai Tāmanuhiri were not involved in the fighting that took place on the East Coast in 1865; and
o (d)the Crown used military force in Tūranga in November 1865 when there was no need for it to do so; and
o (e)it did not pursue all reasonable possibilities for preserving peace in Tūranga after it issued the ultimatum to the occupants of Waerenga a Hika in November 1865; and
o (f)the occupants of Waerenga a Hika were entitled to defend themselves; and
o (g)the Crown’s attack on Waerenga a Hika whose occupants included many women and children, was unwarranted, unjust, and breached the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles.
(3)The Crown acknowledges that its military forces partook in indiscriminate looting of the Tūranga region in the aftermath of the Waerenga a Hika attack, which contributed to acute food shortages that caused some loss of life among Tūranga Māori.

(4)The Crown acknowledges that its detention of some Ngai Tāmanuhiri in harsh conditions on the Chatham Islands for more than two years without laying formal charges or bringing them to trial—
o (a)meant that they were detained for an unreasonably lengthy period, which assumed the character of indefinite detention without trial; and
o (b)inflicted unwarranted hardships on them and their whānau and hapū; and
o (c)was prevented from being challenged in the courts by several indemnity acts; and
o (d)was wrongful, a breach of natural justice, and deprived those Ngai Tāmanuhiri of basic human rights; and
o (e)was an injustice and a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles.
(5)The Crown further acknowledges that these prisoners were justified in finally escaping from the Chatham Islands in July 1868.

(6)The Crown acknowledges that when the Whakarau returned to the mainland, they had reason not to trust the Crown when it asked them to lay down their arms.

(7)The Crown acknowledges that the summary executions at Ngatapa by Crown forces in January 1869 breached the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles and tarnished the honour of the Crown.

(7A)The Crown acknowledges that the manner in which it forcibly took possession of Te Hau Ki Turanga, and its ongoing care of Te Hau Ki Turanga for many years, breached the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles.

(8)The Crown acknowledges that—
o (a)some Ngai Tāmanuhiri did not give any consent to the 1868 deed of cession; and
o (b)those Ngai Tāmanuhiri who agreed to the cession did so under duress; and
o (c)the pressure applied by the Crown to secure this cession, and the resulting extinguishment of Ngai Tāmanuhiri’s customary interests in all their lands breached the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles.
(9)The Crown acknowledges that—
o (a)it did not consult with Ngai Tāmanuhiri about the individualisation of titles by the Poverty Bay Commission, or the introduction of the native land legislation; and
o (b)the Poverty Bay Commission awarded joint tenancies, which promoted alienation as these titles could not be bequeathed; and
o (c)the awarding of titles to individuals by the Poverty Bay Commission and the Native Land Court made Ngai Tāmanuhiri lands more susceptible to partition, fragmentation, and alienation; and
o (d)this had a prejudicial effect on Ngai Tāmanuhiri as it contributed to the erosion of traditional tribal structures, which were based on collective tribal and hapū custodianship of land. The Crown failed to take adequate steps to protect those structures and this was a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles.
(10)The Crown acknowledges that it failed to enact legislation before 1894 that facilitated the administration of Ngai Tāmanuhiri land subject to the native land laws on a community basis, and this was a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles.

(11)The Crown acknowledges that it did not investigate an allegation that the Validation Court had a validated transaction for 11,000 acres in Maraetaha 2, which did not take place.

(12)The Crown acknowledges that—
o (a)a significant proportion of Ngai Tāmanuhiri land became vested in the East Coast Trust; and
o (b)its failure to provide for Ngai Tāmanuhiri beneficial owners to be involved in the development of policy for the administration of their land once it became clear that this Trust would have a long-term existence was a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles.
(13)The Crown acknowledges that—
o (a)it compulsorily acquired land from Ngai Tāmanuhiri under public works legislation in a number of blocks; and
o (b)it took land for roads without paying compensation; and
o (c)there was generally inadequate consultation with Ngai Tāmanuhiri about public works takings before the middle of the twentieth century; and
o (d)as late as 1983 the Crown acquired 99 acres at Maraetaha for waterworks under public works legislation, further reducing Ngai Tāmanuhiri landholdings.
(14)The Crown acknowledges the distress caused by the Manutuke consolidation scheme in the years following 1958, as it required many Ngai Tāmanuhiri to exchange land to which they had significant ancestral connections for land to which they had no connections.

(15)The Crown acknowledges—

o (a)the severe impact on Ngai Tāmanuhiri of the loss of many traditional sources of kai moana because of the pollution of their coastline by Gisborne’s sewage system and industrial waste; and
o (b)Ngai Tāmanuhiri have lost control over many of their significant sites, including wāhi tapu, and that this has had an ongoing impact on their physical and spiritual relationship with their land.
(16)The Crown acknowledges that the cumulative effect of the Crown’s actions and omissions, including the operation and impact of the Poverty Bay Commission and native land laws, left Ngai Tāmanuhiri virtually landless and undermined their economic, social, and cultural development. The Crown acknowledges the devastating consequences that flow from this for the well-being of Ngai Tāmanuhiri. The Crown’s failure to ensure that Ngai Tāmanuhiri retained sufficient lands for its present and future needs was a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles.

(17)The Crown acknowledges that Ngai Tāmanuhiri have lived with poorer housing, lower educational achievements, and worse health than many other New Zealanders for too long.

(18)The Crown acknowledges that Ngai Tāmanuhiri have—
o (a)made a significant contribution to the wealth and development of the nation; and
o (b)honoured their obligations and responsibilities under the Treaty of Waitangi, especially, but not exclusively, in their contribution to New Zealand’s war efforts overseas. The Crown pays tribute to the contribution made by Ngai Tāmanuhiri to the defence of the nation.

MPs passed the bill and the the Rongowhakaata Claims Settlement Bill on a voice vote.

In all the House passed bills relating to four treaty settlement.
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